The highlight of our Turkey month was a lovely Thanksgiving dinner with the Americans in town. Everyone brought yummy foods and we had a great time visiting and playing games. I even made homemade stuffing which I have to say was pretty yummy. The kids had a good time playing and watching movies as well as playing games. It was a good day.
Lucy's birthday co-in sided with our International Church's camp outing. Her birthday was tucked into our picnic and grilling but she had a great time.
We also stayed up late sitting around a fire and cooking marshmallows so I think it was a memorable day for her.
Lucy is my little Mommy - she loves baby dolls and anything to do with being a mom. All she really wanted for her birthday was a baby carriage so below is the proud momma pushing her baby around - she really couldn't be happier.
Wesley starting 3rd grade, Irina 1st grade and Lucy Preschool.
Normally I don't do much for Preschool but since we had read everything several times I decided to get Lucy - Horizons Preschool - I got the teachers guide and the workbooks- if I had to do it again I would have just gotten the workbooks because the teachers guide has enough things to do if I were just teaching preschool which I am not, so it is sitting on the shelf not used. The worksheets have been good though and she had really learned a lot through just doing those and playing.
Wesley and Irina are both doing Core C of Sonlight the second half of World history - I've liked this half better than last year - with the Middle ages and Renessance. I am looking forward to moving into American history next year though.
Wesley is almost done with Gamma and will move into Delta in March. Irina is working her way through Horizons Math and Alpha. I like the way Alpha teaches math - but Irina really enjoys the color in Horizons and I am also happy she is getting introductions to fractions and telling time in a way that really suits her.
Spelling has been a bit hap- hazzard this year and I need to find a way to get it more organized. In September I had high hopes for Sequential Spelling - it worked well until November and then the kids really tired of it. I got Spelling Wisdom from Simply Charlotte Mason and while I like the idea of this approach I just can't seem to motivate Wesley. So we went back to Spelling to Write and Read and I can't say we are really happy with this program again either. I am just not sure what to do for Spelling. I would be tempted to get All About Spelling if I didn't already have three programs as it is. I am thinking I might make my own spelling program for them for next Fall but we shall see.
We are also using Writing With Ease - 1 for Irina and 2 for Wesley. I am feeling that while I agree this program is great for teaching them incrementally to get to writting essays I also want to encourage creative writing and am currently working on how to go about that.
Grammar - I started using KISS grammar which is a free online curriculum put out by a professor. I think we are kind of the beta group though and while I think it is okay for this year I think we will try Easy Grammar next year.
Science we are doing Sonlights Core C science and as all of Sonlight Sciences it covers a wide variety of topics and we enjoy the books and experiments. Though I save up the experiments until we get a large amount of them and then we have a week of experiments at three different times of the year. We had one in November and I think we will do another on in March. Then again in May of 2012
Wesley is also doing his last year of Explode the Code he finished 3 and 4 before Christmas and he will work through 5 and 6 and this will end his season of ETC. I can't say I am sorry to see it end. He is also doing Wordly Wise B - which he doesn't care for. He did 5 lessons before the new year and when he finishes the next 5 lessons he will be done with this workbook for the year. He seems to be very tired of any kind of workbook so I am trying to think through how to make school more interesting for those areas that we feel we should cover like vocabulary and phonics.
As for my birthday - it went by in a bit of blur - we didn't have a lot of money at the time so I got some hair burretts and later Tony had me buy season 4 of Chuck. I enjoyed watching that for several weeks in November and December. I can't believe that next year I will be 40 it seems like such a mature age, when I still feel very immature.
We took a bus ride to the Red Lake in Romania we stayed at a pensione - which is a place that is kind of like a hotel and kind of like a bed and breakfast only you cook your own food. We tried to climb a small mountain - but it was a rainy cold day- though Wesley did make it to the top. We had great teaching on the Israelite and how they grumbled and groaned - comparing that with how Moses reacted. It was a good study. We played lots of Phase 10. The only problem with this trip was Lucy was sick the first half and then Wesley got sick the second. But we all had a good time.
Village Outreach - okay, so this one was really in June but I wanted to focus on the Cherries for June. We did this outreach as a family. The kids, Tony and I joined a great group and we headed up to the middle of Moldova. We were able to stay in one house and we were only about two blocks from the school where we held our Day Camp. The kids of Ratus were awesome and we really began to connect with the kids. We played many games and shared Bible stories and clearly shared the gospel it was a great week. The last two days it started to rain and it pretty much rained off and on all through the second week in our new village of Chrasnishen. it was much harder to hold a Day Camp in a very small room with over 30 kids but, I think the children still had a good time. The kids got very good at using the squatty potty - outhouses and going a long time between baths.
Hiking Outreach - I went alone without the kids on this two week Hiking Outreach - we started in the South of Moldova in Alexander Cuza where I met the Pastor who is also the director for AWANA throughout all of Moldova. We spent just two or three days in each place - having short Day Camps and attending Church services. Our group was very musical and we sang to many of the people we visited. I was able with interpretation to share many times with people and I really think that God gave me a special anointing - which sounds strange even as I write it but it was an amazing time for me. This was my last outreach for the summer.
River Adventure - Tony and Wesley headed off on the Nistru River to share the gospel with soccer, Day camps and house visits. They didn't stay for both weeks heading home after the first week - but I think they are already planning on next years annual River Adventure outreach.
The last outreach session we stayed back at the mission center and helped out behind the scene.
The Cherries in Moldova are fabulous - especially when they grow off the tree in your yard. We had a lot of great days eating bowls of cherries fresh from the tree in our yard, or after Sora Maria invited us over to pick some of hers we had bags full of them. I got pretty good at pitting Cherries!